logo
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 170
BellaOnline Editor
Jellyfish
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Jellyfish
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 170
Hello everyone,

This week's article is a cheap trick I've used off and on for a couple years. Thankfully for me, I've got off-the-wall tastes so my players only got wise to my ways after I told them about it.

Have you made any adventures from borrowed works? Do you find video games, books, movies or some other medium easiest to borrow from? Are there any published works you're considering making into an RPG adventure currently?

Sponsored Post Advertisement
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 170
BellaOnline Editor
Jellyfish
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Jellyfish
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 170
I like starting the players with others' adventures and then expanding on those. I've also made a solo RPG adventure based on the video game Vagrant Story, which was a lot of fun to both make and play.

At the moment I'm putting a player through her paces with the D&D 3e "The Sunless Citadel." So far there isn't any plan for any segue adventures, but we're still on the top level.

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 682
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko
Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 682
Very interesting article! I think that must be why so many communities spring up around fan-fiction -- the basic world-building is already known to the participants, so they don't have to build everything from scratch. They can skip that and invest their time into experiencing their own take on that world/story. (I've never written fan-fiction, so I don't speak from experience.) But I would think it would be difficult to start with experienced gamers and a preexisting world that everyone is familiar with, and then put enough original twists in the story that your players can't anticipate what's going to happen. I like your creative suggestions!

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 170
BellaOnline Editor
Jellyfish
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Jellyfish
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 170
Thank you Val!

I believe you are correct. Once I was at a concert for an up-and-coming band and I felt inspired to write lyrics of my own, contrasting with what they were saying. There's one fan-fiction I encountered which was based on Vagrant Story. It had (in my opinion) very little base in the plot-line of the game itself, but it seemed like it could be a behind-the-scenes act predating the sequence of events in the game. Kind of an extrapolation, "this is how I see/saw it happening."

Sometimes it's hard running with a world everyone is familiar with. One player I've had knew the Faerun/Forgotten Realms setting way better than I did: it took a lot of doing to "do it justice" in their eyes.

There's an advantage role-playing games have where twists in the story is concerned, and it's directly proportionate to how much of a poker-face the game master has. Seriously smile I've run loops in story where the players honed in on an accidental error as some sort of clue or plot hook. It wasn't, but I wasn't about to let them know that. The better the GM is at rolling with the punches, the easier it is to surprise the players.

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 682
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko
Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 682
That is fascinating! How very cool that you might accidentally build in an error, but the gamers tend to give you the benefit of the doubt -- like, "You deliberately put this in here for our entertainment, right?"

And this, The better the GM is at rolling with the punches, the easier it is to surprise the players. That has the sound of excellent advice for gaming (also real life wink )

I would think that a common pitfall for a very new game-master would be to come off as a white-knuckle control freak, simply because he or she has to keep track of so many things. And also has to be an authority that the players defer to. But it's also supposed to be fun experience for everybody involved. I like the advice you've been giving, which has a definite Taoist flavor of going with the flow.

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 170
BellaOnline Editor
Jellyfish
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Jellyfish
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 170
I consider it opportunistic lol. It's not so much that other gamers give the benefit of the doubt (though that helps). The best improv doesn't even come off as such.

Agreed that it translates to life advice. Agreed wholeheartedly.

You're right about the common pitfall. It really varies person-to-person too, both in what issues they'll run across at first as well as if/when they encounter the control freak issue later. GMs who are particularly fond of a certain scene, plot or character? There's got to be some level of fighting with yourself there. Biggest hurtle to get past is acknowledging that it's "our" game (collective, table, group) and not "my" game (GM, host, library-keeper). Once you've got that, it tends to stick with you.

You're also correct about the Taoist influence smile role-playing games are, or at least can be, a form of zen. Though I'm no expert in regards to the Tao wink

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 682
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko
Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 682
Me, either! smile Definitely not an expert in the Tao. But there is something very appealing about making the best of a fluid situation like RPG -- just allowing the collective experience to flow where it will instead of expending a lot of energy into choreographing it and corralling it.

I thought about another aspect that might lead to the controlling pitfall... a basic personality quirk such as a preference for closure (or for keeping options open). I'm thinking of the Briggs-Myer personality test here. That is one of the preferences along with whether you prefer Introversion/Extroversion, Intuition/Sensing.

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 170
BellaOnline Editor
Jellyfish
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Jellyfish
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 170
I don't know, actually. At times I'm very on-the-fence about that. Really it depends on the group, too -- some groups want all their own motives and nothing else, other groups look to the GM for what's coming next. Newer groups lean toward the latter, I've noticed. The best 'railroads' are those the players don't even realize they're on. In that light, the story can belong to both the players (via their input) and the GM (via theirs). Sometimes being the reactive GM isn't as fun as the alternative.

Great point, I can easily see that one. I've got a few articles mentioning that personality test, actually smile

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 682
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko
Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 682
I will look for those articles! Personality tests can be a fun way to jog some ideas loose about characterization. I think it can help out with both fiction writing and gaming. The Enneagram is another fun one, though it leans more toward the spiritual and less toward the scientific / psychological.


Moderated by  Leif - Role Playing Games 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Brand New Posts
2021: On this day . . .
by Mona - Astronomy - 09/16/21 05:44 AM
Autumn Equinox
by Mona - Astronomy - 09/16/21 05:39 AM
When the burdens get heavy
by Angie - 09/15/21 03:17 PM
Sewing Projects for Fall
by Cheryl - Sewing Editor - 09/15/21 03:02 PM
Inspiration Quote
by Angie - 09/15/21 02:57 PM
Lammas to the September Equinox – Quiz *new*
by Mona - Astronomy - 09/15/21 10:24 AM
QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS's) Best Customer Pho
by Penelope Jerez - 09/14/21 06:21 PM
Astro Women - Birthdays
by Angie - 09/14/21 08:25 AM
Ships
by Angie - 09/10/21 09:29 AM
Sewing with Plaids
by Angie - 09/09/21 08:36 AM
Sponsor
Safety
We take forum safety very seriously here at BellaOnline. Please be sure to read through our Forum Guidelines. Let us know if you have any questions or comments!
Privacy
This forum uses cookies to ensure smooth navigation from page to page of a thread. If you choose to register and provide your email, that email is solely used to get your password to you and updates on any topics you choose to watch. Nothing else. Ask with any questions!


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2021 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5